A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

Poor car goes in for repair

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Today was largely frustrating... nothing quite went smoothly.

We had booked our car in for a service- it needed one to get our insurance cleared, plus we noticed it was leaking coolant by the gallon and wouldn't change out of third gear.

The car ended taking all day to be fixed. But Lenny Wong did a good job. "I'll wait for you!"

We also tried to get new Canadian Sims to work... and that took all day too. Lots of backwards-and forwarding between phone companies.

At about 7pm, we finally had our car back from the mechanic and a working phone (such a relief) and so packed up our car. We said our good byes to our fabulous Couch Hosts, Sarah and Denis, who made our first couch surfing experience so great and set a very high standard for everyone else to follow, (Big thanks to you both and love to Skamp).

Half hour later, and closer to the city centre we met our new hosts Pam and Colin. Sitting on the balcony of their beautiful apartment, looking over the city sky line, we enjoyed the warm summer afternoon. We headed out for a night of Mexican margaritas and tachos at the trendy Avocado bar, and meeting all their friends. The city is absolutely buzzing at the moment, being the last days of Stampede. All night the streets are packed with cowboys and cowgirls (however I have my doubts whether half of these people have seen a farm before).

Posted by AnikaCorey 10:12 Comments (0)

Visit to the most disturbing shop ever

Pro Bass Shop

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We spent the morning cleaning up our new little bus- making it all sparkly clean. During winter, canadians cover their roads with salt to prevent too much ice build up. However this has a terrible effect on the cars- rusting them quickly (i have never seen so many rusted cars), and making them have a salt encrusted layer on the body. Our car doesn't have any rust, but it did need a good ol' scrub to get off the salt.

We were recommended by our Couch Hosts to have a look at Bass Pro Shop- a giant camping shop. And by giant, i mean GIANT. It is famous for its hunting section also.... but i never imagined to quite this extent. Heads of all animals hung from the walls, full size bison and polar bear stood in poses of attack, and herds of stuffed deer leap between departments. Even little stuffed raccons and ground hogs held up 'clothing for sale' signs. It was the most disturbing thing ever. Corey, however, thought is was amazing. This shop also sold hundreds of weapons, right off the shelf- cross bows, bb-guns, knives, and serious hunting guns. They had an indoor archery range, where you could try out a compact bow before you bought it, and shooting range for BB guns. It was a bit worrying when most of the people trying out these BB guns looked like they were under the age of 12.

Thursday night we went back to the Stampede grounds. We walked through many more areas, looked at western art and craft, laughed at the Sham Wow demonstrator, and saw an acrobatic ice show (which was AMAZING- 2 olympic gold medalists doing the displays). We then went to the main grandstand to watch the Evening Show. We saw a marching band, Canadian Idol winner singing her heart out, and watched a hundred dances twirling around. There was a extreme motor cross display... which was extreme. And finally there were the fireworks! Which were huge and explosive (excuse the pun!)

Posted by AnikaCorey 10:11 Comments (0)

Buying a car

Dodge Caravan

sunny 20 °C
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Today we planned the day around buying a car. We found a 1998 Dodge Caravan on the Internet that looked much like what we were after for our tour. We went and had a look at it, and decided it was perfect for what we needed, all for a cheap price of $1,500. The car has airconditioning/heating, CD player, very good tyres, central locking, and plenty of space. Corey decided to drive home, in which we ended up in us being honked at several times and we got lost, so we stopped at the local Walmart and purchased a Tom-Tom GPS. The GPS was only $88 and worked a treat. Upon walking into Walmart, I said to Anika, “I remember the documentary “Bowling For Columbine”, and seeing bullets for sale in Walmart”. As we wandered around the store not only did we see bullets, but full size guns for sale too! You could buy paintball guns for $80, compound bows and serious BB guns. WOW, Americans/Canadians really like guns.
Anyway, back to the car story. We had to catch a Taxi to the mans house in which the car was for sale at. We then needed to arrange insurance. After arriving at the insurance company, (which was on the complete opposite side to the city to the car) we were told we should go the Registration Office to see if we are able to obtain licence plates without having a mailing address. We then found out that we were not able to register a vehicle without the mailing address, but lucky enough Dennis (our couch surfer host) was willing to let us use his house address. We then went back to the insurance company and got the insurance, only to find that the man we bought the car off did not sign the bottom part of the sale papers. Grrrrr. We then caught a Taxi all the way back to the mans house, got him to sign the papers and then proceeded to the registration office and we were finally able to register the vehicle.

Posted by AnikaCorey 10:10 Comments (0)


Shopping for camping

sunny 20 °C
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Pam and Colin kindly gave us their apartment for the weekend as they went away camping. As it was a beautiful morning, we spent the morning walking through the city, seeing more of Calgary's sights. We found a street fair, so spent a while walking along it, watching horse processions and tribal dancing of the First Nations.

We spent the rest of the afternoon stocking up on camping equipment. We then went to the Calgary Museum, where we were recommended to see the human body display. It was really good, though quite graphic, showing human bodies (minus the skin) in various poses and sports positions- so one could understand how muscles and bones work.

Posted by AnikaCorey 10:30 Comments (0)

First Day in Canada


rain 15 °C
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This morning we woke refreshed and excited for our first day at the Calgary Stampede. We walked down to a bus stop, and caught the bus into the city then walked to the Stampede. The Stampede was filled with Cowboys (even the odd Asian were trying to be cowboys), there we so many side stands, and even some crazy giant show rides just like you see at the show. The Rodeo was really good, with fireworks, guys tackling young steers and little kids being dragged around by ponies, there was plenty of entertainment. It was raining lightly in the beginning and then it became really heavy later on, so plenty of people sliding around after slipping off a bucking bronco, which made it all a little more entertaining (except for a poor horse that slipped over and ended up tangled up in a fence. Gulp).
Anika bought a really nice cowgirl hat and I bought nothing, except for a beer that I tipped $15 for. Why? I have no idea; perhaps I was feeling generous towards the 12 year old girl that served it to me.
At night, we attended the free “Three Days Grace” concert, held at the Stampede grounds. I was so excited (except for the rain) to see them, as I am a huge fan. Anika on the other hand, didn’t know any of their songs and doesn’t like their genre of music. At one point in the concert the singer must have jumped into the crowd, because I ended up being about within touching distance of him. I was so happy, and I think perhaps Anika has a little more appreciation for Three Days Grace. After the concert we walked into town to a nice country bar and shared a few Bison Burgers and I had a couple of Budweiser and Anika had some Jameson and Coke. We had a quick dance to “Save a horse, ride a cowboy” and went home to bed.

Posted by AnikaCorey 10:08 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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